Some people love the beauty of snow and the sense of starting fresh in a new year, and consider January a beautiful, exciting month. Others hate snow and cold weather and consider January a miserable, bone-chilling month. We also differ on how we enter a new year with hope and a sense of new beginning, or with resignation that a new year will be the same-old-same-old.
I have never had much real success with new year’s resolutions. Like many others, I have been pretty good at starting out with passion, and then falling out of the new routine a few weeks into the year, whether that has been eating better, exercising more or some other resolution.
Taking stock of what life has been in the past year and re-dedicating myself to faithfulness has been a more productive new year activity. John Wesley used a Covenant Prayer to help the people called Methodists to re-dedicate themselves to their Covenant with God either on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. That prayer is a powerful one, and I invite you not just to read it, but to pray it as we begin the new year:
The prayer requires deep commitment to pray, and a willingness to submit our will to God’s will. In fact, it is essentially an expansion of what Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NIV) And “Your will be done” is the one prayer that God always answers “Yes!”
At the beginning of this new year, I pray that we will all reaffirm our “Yes” to Jesus and our commitment to our Covenant with God through faith in Jesus Christ! And I pray that 2018 is a year of fruitfulness and growth in our church and in each of our lives!